Recorded as Parfit, Parfitt, Perfit, Perfitt, and others, this is an English surname. It is an example of the common medieval practice of creating a surname from a nickname, this one denoting an apprentice who had completed his period of training. The derivation is the pre 10th century Old French word "parfite", meaning completed, and ultimately from the Roman (Latin) "perfectus" to finish. It is, in this sense of fully trained, that Chaucer speaks of the knight in the "Canterbury Tales" as "a veray parfit gentil knight". The early name development Richard Parfet of Somerset in 1196, and William Perfyt of Hampshire in 1383. Later cghurch registers recordings included that on January 16th 1704, of Sarah, the daughter of William and Margaret Parfitt who was christened at St. Paul's Covent Garden, Westminster whilst Ann, the daughter of John and Mary Perfitt, was christened on July 27th 1708 at St. Andrews Holborn, in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vnfridus Parfait. This was dated 1115, in the Winton Register for the county of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 1st of England. He was known as the Lion of Justice, 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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